Posted on: 07 November 2011 by Mark Howells
The pilots of AirTran Airways, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and those of Southwest Airlines, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) have voted to approve an agreement that will merge the two carriers’ pilot seniority lists into one.
Among Southwest pilots 83.56% of the 95.1% turnout approved the deal, while the 93.99% turnout of AirTran’s pilots eligible to voter approved the new agreement by 83.58%.
“This agreement cements the bond between our pilot groups, and helps clear the path to the complete integration of the two airlines,” said Linden Hillman, chairman of ALPA’s AirTran Master Executive Council.
"I am extremely proud of our negotiators’ efforts to preserve and enhance the career value of every Southwest Airlines pilot and proud of our membership for demonstrating leadership by voting in favour of this negotiated list," said SWAPA president, Captain Steve Chase. "While SWAPA’s preference will always be for fleet growth and not growth through acquisition, we trust that our company leaders will continue to take us in a profitable direction. [Southwest CEO] Gary Kelly has stated that in combining these airlines ‘one plus one should equal more than two’. Now with the certainty of an integrated seniority list, we are all looking forward to the continued success and growth of Southwest Airlines."
The first AirTran pilots will transition to Southwest Airlines in early 2012, with the last expected before the end of 2014.